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The Role of Catchment Vegetation in Reducing Atmospheric Inputs of Pollutant Aerosols in Ganga River

Abstract

The role of woody perennials in the Ganga river basin in modifying the run-off quality as influenced by atmospheric deposition of pollutant aerosols was investigated. The concentration of seven nutrients and eight metals were measured in atmospheric deposits as well as in run-off water under the influence of five woody perennials. Nutrient retention was recorded maximum for Bougainvillea spectabilis ranged from 4.30 % to 33.70 %. Metal retention was recorded highest for Ficus benghalensis ranged from 5.15 % to 36.98 %. Although some species showed nutrient enrichment, all the species considered in the study invariably contribute to reduce nutrients and metal concentration in run-off water. Reduction in run off was recorded maximum for B. spectabilis (nutrient 6.48 %–40.66 %; metal 7.86 %–22.85 %) and minimum for Ficus religiosa (nutrient 1.68 %–27.19 %; metal 6.55 %–31.55 %). The study forms the first report on the use of woody perennials in reducing input of atmospheric pollutants to Ganga river and has relevance in formulating strategies for river basin management.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Coordinator, Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University for laboratory facilities. One of the authors (K. Shubhashish) is grateful to University Grants Commission, New Delhi for financial support in the form of JRF and SRF.

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Correspondence to Richa Pandey.

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Shubhashish, K., Pandey, R. & Pandey, J. The Role of Catchment Vegetation in Reducing Atmospheric Inputs of Pollutant Aerosols in Ganga River. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 362–367 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-012-0651-6

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Keywords

  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Pollutant aerosols
  • Metal retention
  • Ganga river